The Committee for the Assessment of Student Learning adopted the following definition of assessment to guide and focus its continuous quality improvement efforts at Arkansas Northeastern College.

"Assessment is an ongoing process aimed at understanding and improving student learning.  It involves making our expectations explicit and public; setting appropriate criteria and high standards for learning quality; systematically gathering, analyzing, and interpreting evidence to determine how well performance matches those expectations and standards; and using the resulting information to document, explain, and improve performance.  When it is embedded effectively within larger institutional systems, assessment can help us focus our collective attention, examine our assumptions, and create a shared academic culture dedicated to assuring and improving the quality of higher education."

Thomas A. Angelo, AAHE Bulletin, November 1995, p.7.